Procedural Regulations


A marine mammal observer at work on the JOHN N. COBB

Photo 4: A marine mammal observer at work on the JOHN N. COBB
(NOAA Photo Library)

Pre-amendment rules: 15 CFR Part 904 (GPO web site link)

Amended rules (eff. 04/10/06): 71 Fed. Reg. 12440 (March 10, 2006)

On March 10, 2006, a final rule amending NOAA's civil procedure regulations (904s) was published in the Federal Register (see 71 Fed. Reg. 12440, Mar. 10, 2006). The 904 regulations, which are found at 15 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 904, have been virtually unchanged since their original promulgation in 1987. The amendments in the final rule, which attempt to address relevant changes in the law and in agency practice that have occurred since 1987, are quite extensive. These amended rules will apply to all administrative proceedings commenced, through issuance of a written warning or a Notice of Violation and Assessment (NOVA), Notice of Permit Sanction (NOPS), or Notice of Intent to Deny Permit (NIDP), on or after April 10, 2006. Administrative proceedings that are pending on April 10, 2006, will continue to proceed under the pre-amendment rules, with the exception that all petitions for administrative review filed on or after April 10, 2006, will proceed under the amended 15 CFR Part 904.273 (see 71 Fed. Reg. 12440, Mar. 10, 2006).

Amended rules (eff. June 23, 2010): 75 Fed. Reg. 35631 (June 23, 2010).

Effective June 23, 2010, NOAA published a final rule that amends the procedures governing the agency’s administrative proceedings for the assessment of civil penalties; suspension, revocation, modification, or denial of permits; issuance and use of written warnings; and release or forfeiture of seized property. The principal change removes the requirement that an Administrative Law Judge state good reason(s) for departing from the civil penalty or permit sanction assessed by NOAA in its charging document. This revision eliminates any presumption in favor of the civil penalty or permit sanction assessed by NOAA. The other change corrects a clerical error in a citation to rules pertaining to protective orders issued by Administrative Law Judges.